Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana 
serves 8
Chicken  parmigiana is less expensive version of veal cutlets parmigiana and an Italian restaurant staple.  My version spices it up a little by adding the heat of red pepper flakes to traditional marinara sauce.  Notice this version is not layered as most homemade versions but is made restaurant style (single scallopini topped with sauce, parmesan, and Provolone rather than mozzarella).
                                                                              Prep time:   15 minutes
                                                                              Cook time:   37 minutes
                                                                              Total time:   52 minutes

spicy tomato sauce:

2 14.5 ounce cans of San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil\
2 heaping tablespoons dehydrated onions
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper

the scallopini:

8  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, scaloppini-ed (pounded to  1⁄4" thickness)
1⁄2 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten
1 1⁄2 cups Italian dried bread crumbs
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 slices provolone cheese (about 6 ounce), more depending on the size of the chicken scallopini
3⁄4 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper,  to taste


spicy tomato sauce:

1.  In a large sauce pan over medium heat, bring the olive oil to the ripple state, add  the dehydrated onions, the basil, the oregano, the crushed red pepper flakes*, and the granulated garlic  and cook, stirring constantly, until the  herbs are fragrant, about 2 minutes. 
2.  Reduce the heat to low and add the crushed tomatoes/tomato sauce, stirring constantly until the tomatoes  combine with the herbs and begins to caramelizes, about 3 minutes.  Raise the heat and bring to a simmer.  Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, black pepper, and additional red pepper.
3.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes over low heat.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  
* if you're not sure of how spicy you like your sauce start with ¼  teaspoon of red pepper flakes and adjust seasoning during cooking.

Pre-heat the broiler of an  oven to broil placing the oven rack 10" from the heating element.

create the scallopini:

1.  Working with 1 breast at a time place the breast in a 1 gallon re-sealable  plastic bag and pound the breast into  a ¼ to ½ -inch thick scallopini. 
2.  Season the pounded scallopini lightly with salt and pepper.

breading and frying the scallopini:

1.  Build a breading station by placing flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes and working with one scaloppini at a time, dredge it in the flour, the eggs, and the bread crumbs and transfer the  breaded scallopini to a dish.
2.  In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Fry the breaded scallopini,  2 at a time,  turning once with tongs, until golden brown, about 3 minutes; wiping out the frying  pan and adding fresh oil  between.  Either transfer scallopini to large baking platter or to individual, oven proof plates.

bake the scallopini:

1.  Once all the scallopini have been fried and plated, top each scallopini with 1⁄3 cup of the marinara sauce, sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of parmesan, and one or more  slices of cheese. 
2.  Place the plated and topped scallopini under the broiler until  the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 5 minutes.


 Dress each plate with some of the parsley and serve immediately accompanied by sauce pasta and any remaining spicy tomato sauce.

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